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From the New World: Collection 2 (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 31, 2014 by  



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“From the New World: Collection 2” is a an fascinating conclusion for the series as it incorporates more action and is much more darker than the previous first half.  Looking for something different, definitely give “From the New World” a try!

Image courtesy of © 2012 Yuske Kishi – KODANSHA. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: From the New World: Collection 2

DURATION: Episodes 14-25 (300 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 16×9, English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATED: TV 14 VD

Release Date: August 12, 2014

Original Creator: Yusuke Kishi

Director: Masashi Ishihama

Series Composition: Masashi Sogo

Music by Shiego Komori

Character Design: YORI

Art Director: Saho Yamane

Director of Photography: Haruhi Goto

Anime Production: A-1 Pictures

Featuring the following voice talent:

Ayumu Murase/Clint Bickham as Shun Aonuma (14 years old)

Haruka Kudou/Blake Shepard as Mamoru Itō (12 years old)

Kana Hanazawa/Monica Rial as Maria Akitsuki (12-14 years old)

Kanako Toujô/Greg Ayres as Satoru Asahina (12 years old)

Mai Toudou/Clint Beckham as Shun Aonuma (12 years old)

Motoki Takagi/Blake Shepard as Mamoru Itō (14 years old)

Risa Taneda/Emily Neves as Saki Watanabe (12-26 years old)

Yuuki Kaji/Greg Ayres as Satoru Asahina (14-26 years old)

Still reeling from the deaths of her friends and the revelations of the Ethics Committee’s machinations, Saki returns to the village expecting the worst. However, what she’s learned so far barely touches on the edges of an even vaster conspiracy. As she discovers the fate the committee intends for her personally, she realizes that her own mind is being turned against her.

With her memories of Shun fading, she and Satoru find themselves in a race to find Maria and Mamoru before the Committee condemns them to destruction. But the clock is turning against them in more ways than one, as the smoldering conflicts between the rat colonies threatens to erupt into open warfare. As pivotal pieces in a deadly endgame designed to wipe an entire species from the face of the planet, it’s not going to be enough for Saki and Satoru to merely survive. To lead the best laid plans of both rats and men astray, they’ll have to uncover the final secrets to two hidden worlds and turn them against their makers!

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From award wining author Yusuke Kishi comes the anime “Shin Sekai Yori” (From the New World), based on the 29th Nihon SF Taisho Award winning novel published back in 2008.

Produced by A-1 Pictures and airing in Japan from September 2012 through March 2013, the first half of the anime series was released in North America in April 2014.

“From the New World” is set in Japan and we are first introduced to a phenomenon that had taken place in Japan in 2011 when people have developed psychokinetic powers and many people have died and destruction has hit the world.

Fastforward a thousand years later and the story, still set in Japan, revolves around six friends: Saki, Satoru, Maria, Mamoru, Shun and Reiko.

The six have grown up in Kamisu’s 66th district where the area is gorgeous with plants and water. And the six have the power of telekensis which they deem as “god’s power”.

One day, as the six friends of Group 1 are at summer camp, they tell scary stories, from Balloon Dogs to a strange creature known as “False Minoshiro”. And as the six go to look for one, they manage to find and capture a Minoshiro. The creature is able to communicate with them and tells them the story of their world and how, a thousand years ago, a monk killed a False Minoshiro and their powers were sealed away and were taken to an area to be judged.

Suddenly, the group are attacked by Monster Rats and a Balloon Dog. But the Monster Rats capture the six students.

And as these group of friends take on various living creatures, why would the monster rats want to hurt them?

Saki and Satoru have returned to the village and find out why they were treated specially since childhood and with Mamoru and Maria’s lives are being threatened, Saki and Satoru head back to find them.

Meanwhile, as the monster rats prepare to go to war against humans, will Saki and Satoru survive the ordeal?

The main characters of “From the New World” are:

  • Saki – The main female protagonist. Saki has had her fair share of arguments with Satoru and is currently in a relationship with Maria, despite having intense feelings for Sun. After several incidents in her home town, she wants to investigate it even more.
  • Satoru – The main male protagonist. Always arguing with Saki and is very intelligent and observant. He is in a relationship with Shun.
  • Maria – The most popular girl in school and is the girlfriend of Saki. She has the power of levitation.
  • Shun – The most intelligent member of the group and is able to adapt to his surroundings. Dating Satoru.
  • Mamoru – The person least likely to get involved and has a crush on Maria.
  • Reiko – Not very good in class and utilizing her power.

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VIDEO:

“From the New World: Collection 2” is presented in 1080p High Definition. Picture quality features gorgeous backgrounds and lush scenery, while character designs for the humans are not super-detailed but work well with the overall animation. Nothing too busy. If anything, my issue with animation are the way the character designs were for the monster rats, which didn’t look too menacing to me.

I didn’t notice any major banding issues or artifacts during my viewing of the series.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“From the New World: Collection 2” is presented in English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. Both soundtracks are crystal clear through the front channels and one not having any major impact more than the other in terms of dynamic range. Both soundtracks are done well but felt the Japanese version had the edge in terms of emotional impact but that is subjective to the viewer.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“From the New World: Collection 2″ comes with the following special features:

  • Japanese Promos
  • Clean Closing Animation

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If there is one thing positive to say about Yusuke Kishi’s “From the New World”, it’s progressive, non-banal and for an anime series, it’s story is creative enough to separate itself from many other anime series and thus anyone looking for something fresh and new will be entertained by this anime series.

While the first half introduced us to the characters and tries to establish the relationships in the series, from Saki and Maria, Satoru and Shun. The second half is much more complex as it deals with Saki and Satoru trying to find their friends, followed by the series moving years later as the two have grown older and human villages are now being attacked by the Monster Rats.

If anything, human kind has become the prey of the Monster Rats as well as a killer ogre which they must find ways of defeating.  But what is the truth behind the ogre and Monster Rats and what is their true objective?

As for the Blu-ray release, while background settings are well-detailed, character designs are simple without much shading.   But still, the background art is lush and beautiful and brings out the anime series.  The lossless soundtrack on both soundtracks are DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and dialogue is crystal clear. Special features are limited to Japanese promos and the clean closing animation.

While the first half focused more on the primary characters, the second half focuses more on the adversaries and the war between the humans vs. the Monster Rats and ogre.  While Saki and Satoru try to find ways to save their friends.  The series may be a bit too deep for some but part of the series enjoyment is its complex storyline and fascinating story.

Overall, “From the New World: Collection 2” is a an fascinating conclusion for the series as it incorporates more action and is much more darker than the previous first half.  Looking for something different, definitely give “From the New World” a try!

 

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